The ‘lease’ you can do

10 Feb 2009

Through the recession, Irish firms will turn to leasing, ensuring they have modern IT systems to stay in business.

One of the ironies of the current recession is that, while firms will try to cut costs and cut back on staffing levels, investment in IT systems is likely to continue as they endeavour to remain relevant and ready for opportunities on the other side.

Up to now, companies have tended to shy away from leasing IT assets. The situation hasn’t been helped by a shortage of providers in the market, plus banks that will only provide leasing arrangements for immediate customers and, even then, for nothing that costs less than €10,000.

That’s why the arrival to the Irish market of Syscap through its local agency, Céad Finance, will bring about a refreshing change and much-needed room to manoeuvre for businesses with an eye on tomorrow.

Syscap has established relationships with up to 20 different financial lenders and 20 different local IT resellers to enable businesses have access to flexible financing for investments in training, hardware and infrastructure.

“A lot of the resellers we deal with in Ireland, until now, had problems arranging leasing with local businesses because the financial providers weren’t there,” explained Alan Maslanka, managing director of Céad Finance in Ireland.

As a result IT resellers and manufacturers’ sales would suffer in Ireland because businesses that wanted to invest in IT systems were often turned down by the bank,” he said.

“What Syscap has brought to the table a more automated way of getting approval faster. Resellers can get a quote online, track the deal, get credit approval for the client and print the lease document – all online – as part of Syscap’s Sales Aid programme.

“This service is pivotal in today’s economy. Irish companies are now purchasing more IT to compensate for less staff. But, with the credit crunch they don’t always have the cash to spend on IT. So, we finance the IT for them. We believe IT sales in Ireland are going to increase beyond what is being predicted. Resellers and manufacturers are looking for more ways to sell more products.”

“We’re classed as the No 1 IT leasing provider in the UK, and have relationships with the banks and other leasing providers. We can finance the leasing and purchase of goods that cost at least €500. That gives Irish businesses better flexibility to get their hands on the hardware they need.”

IT vendors are predicting sales of business software such as customer relationship management to increase this year because firms are losing staff.

The advantages of leasing IT equipment, apart from tax benefits, is the resellers and manufacturers are obliged to dispose of the equipment in a safe environmental fashion.

Another advantage of tak-ing the Syscap route, he explained, is the company can allow businesses with offices in Ireland and the UK, or on the European continent, to fund pan-European IT rollouts, all on the one online system.

In terms of the roots Syscap is putting down in Ireland, Maslanka cited the example of The Big Red Book, one of the fastest growing and well-respected payroll/accounts software suppliers in Ireland, which uses the Option One sales aid program to offer leasing to its customers.

“Irish business who found it increasingly hard to pay for payroll or accounting can obtain the software packages on a lease or rental basis and do it themselves, saving money and time and being in more control of their finances,” Maslanka said.

By John Kennedy